COUNCILLORS have unanimously approved plans which will see a historic Winchester landmark transformed into flats.

The St Thomas Centre, in Southgate Street, was used as the city's record office from 1974 until the 1990s and was formerly known as the church of St Thomas and St Clement.

Until recently it had been used as offices, with plans now seeing it redeveloped into nine flats.

Internal concrete structures will be removed to make way for timber flooring, and the properties are designed like 'pods', which the developer says could be easily removed in the future, without damaging the building's exterior.

Councillors at the city council planning committee last week expressed concern about the nine allocated parking spaces and lack of visitor bays.

John Whitworth, a resident of the nearby Peninsula Barracks said he was in favour of the application, but urged councillors to consider how visitor parking may impact on neighbouring properties.

He said: “Nine parking spaces is quite inadequate and the residents will be tempted to go to Archery Lane which is private parking. It would be a good thing if extra parking could be provided.

“We don't want to introduce clamping, and we don't mind people coming up to deliver to houses and so on, but we do try to keep it low key. We might be driven to introduce clamping systems if this goes ahead which will cost us money.”

Cllr Therese Evans said: “This is a building that I think has lost its way and has not been successful as offices. I do support this changing of use. Concerns about parking will be something buyers will take into account, and one space per unit is quite luxurious compared to other developments we have done in the past.”

After much discussion, the application was unanimously approved.